Israel passes new law to protect settlers from boycott

BBC report here.

14 Responses to “Israel passes new law to protect settlers from boycott”

  1. Ray Gaston Says:

    Or Israeli Right passes new law to attack Israeli Peace Movement see Haaretz and Peace Now’s call for a Boycott of Settlements in response to the law
    “Peace Now movement announced Monday it opened a Facebook page calling for a boycott of products that come from the settlements. On Tuesday it plans to launch a national campaign, with the aim of convincing tens of thousands of people to support the boycott.”
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-passes-law-banning-calls-for-boycott-1.372711

  2. Absolute Observer Says:

    “Among the recent initiatives that angered settlers and their influential political patrons was a pledge by Israeli academics and artists to boycott the West Bank settlement of Ariel.”

    So a nasty vicious right wing government passes a nasty vicious law (which I assume will last 30 seconds in the Supreme Court) because of the pledge by “Israeli academics and artists”, the very “Israeli academics and artists” targeted by UCU and the BDS movement in the UK.
    Kinda ironic when you think about it.

  3. Thomas Venner Says:

    Way to go, Israeli government – pass a law to protect the people who take Israeli citizenship as an excuse to move into the West Bank and piss off the local population, making a peace deal more and more difficult, who refuse to accept Israel as a legitimate state “until the Messiah comes”, refuse to pay taxes or do national service, occasionally pop over into Israel in order to attack people and start fights with the police, and who also have an escalating habit of attacking Israeli soldiers and border guards. I wonder what magnificent feats of intelligence we can expect from Netanyahu and co. next? Perhaps they’ll try to persuade Hamas into peace talks with the promise of a year’s supply of vodka. That would be on a par with the current Israeli government’s general level of competence.

  4. Noam Says:

    this is the end of democracy here. israeli clearly isn’t maintaining the settlements, but the opposite. the settlements are holding israel. there is now only one thing illegal to boycott inside israel – settlement products.
    animal-tested shampoo, unkosher food, turkish exports – that’s all fine. but if i want to avoid contributing to deepening the occupation as a civilian – that’s OUTLAWED.
    next thing they should just outlaw any opinion left of likud, make things simpler. somebody asked me once if it’s legal to demonstrate in israel – i laughed. today, i wonder will it be illegal soon, if it’s against settlements.
    as an opposer to BDS, and one that’s certain much of it’s supporters are idiots and antisemites, i don’t see any reasoning in keeping insisting that although the occupation and everything, the core system in israel is democratic.
    israel’s refusal to mark occupied-origin on products, along with this law, makes argumenting against BDS harder and harder. israel itseld is making the question often raised here, of who makes this “call”, and why, less and less relevant by the hour.
    the argument saying Israeli institutions defend the peace camp’s natural right to advance its goals in a democracratic manner, can no longer stand.

    right after terror attacks and heavy military assaults, this is the saddest day i’ve ever felt as an israeli. it’s worse than the assisination of rabin. that was the illegal lunacy of one fascist – a civilian. this now is illegal lunacy of the majority of the knesset.
    sad. so fucking sad.
    true, the hamas are still assholes, syria is still a dictatorship. jordan is still a non-democracy. maybe compared to them israel is a democracy – but next to its western allies, it’s a rottening black hole of fascist lunacy.

  5. David Galant Says:

    My goodness, a bunch of people who believe that they are the moral overlords of the world over react to a law in a foreign country that says that any Israeli citizen who believes that s/he has been financially harmed by Israelis advocating BDS has a right to sue for damages. In the US, officers of a company that honors an uncondoned boycott can be sentenced to five years in jail. The EU actually has a law similar to the one under condemnation here.

    Is it possible in any part of Europe to actually have an intelligent debate based on reasoned contextual arguments?

    Just for the record, I think the law is bad, but, so it seems, for reasons different to those blathered here.

    • Noam Says:

      dear david, if this was a law against bds from within, it would still show hysteria, unconfidence and stupidity, however –

      comparing a law PROHIBITING an israeli within israel to boycott occupied goods from territories held by his own state has nothing to do with the american law against boycott overseas. and you know it. open your eyes and cut the bullsh*t.
      this is the single biggest debate in israel, and now acting against it is being outlawed. please, please, i know it’s hard – it’s hard for me too, but for christ’s sake, OPEN YOUR EYES. israel (this government) is losing it. we needs help over here.

      • Gideon Swort Says:

        @Noam

        You are hyperventilating and your knee is jerking uncontrollably. Take a few deep breaths and relax.

        David Galant’s response is correct in it’s global legal perspective and that’s certainly not “bullsh*t”. You may need “help” over wherever you are, however I’m not sure that Mr. Galant is of the profession you require.

        You can still exercise your right not buy Settlement products, that’s not “OUTLAWED”. Your greengrocer will be able to tell you where his cucumbers came from. Most settlement products are intended for the Haredi sector and are packaged and marked accordingly.

        This law will be put to question in Israel’s higher court (Baga”tz) as is the norm with controversial issues in a democratic state.

  6. Comment is not free Says:

    What a pity that UCU, etc. etc. have ruled themselves out of offering any meaningful support for those in Israel opposing this ludicrous law. All they can do is to organise demonstrations ensuring that performances in the UK of these people who oppose the law don’t take place.
    Note also that the BDS campaign, like Likud,refuse to recognise a distinction between the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel, demanding boycotts of Ariel and BGU, HU, TVU, the settlements in the West Bank and Haifa as if they were a single unit.
    The symmetry of the right in Israel and BDS in the UK is now complete; the very same Israeli Jews are the innocent targets of both.

  7. conchovor Says:

    This isn’t great news, though, it seems to me, Israel’s enemies have a great deal of latitude within her.

  8. NIMN Says:

    Noam is dead right. I don’t know one Israeli who does not refuse to buy stuff from the Settlements. It is a very, very common position amongst Israelis. And, as Noam says, it is of a completely difference nature from the “call” to boycott Israel as a whole from the likes of BDS (remember how silent they were over labeling issue – by labeling products as coming from the WB they would have to had acknowledged a difference between Israel proper and Israel not proper(!). Note also the silence from all the usual suspects. The only people rightly furious are the Israeli left (and the normal dickheads who think that such a law exposes the “essence” of Israel and its “false” democarcy, but they get angry about anything that begins with the letter “I”.)

    So where can Noam go? The British labour movement have more or less deserted her, many, many NGO’s the same. The right – whose “love” of Israel is a sincere as an editorial in the New of the World – aren’t going to do anything (they probably wish they could do the same on any range of issues in their own countries).
    Noam is fucked by the stupidity that says that all Israelis are colonialists and racists. But, in their inverted world, this latest travesty is probably being treated as a step to the ongoing victory of anti-imperialism.

    [and on a different note, I read in the paper that in the UK the IAS – the Immigration Advisory Service (they provide aid and assistance to the most vulnerable where it relates to immigration status, etc.) has closed down for lack of funds (changes in government funding, a general increase in UK anti-immigration feeling, etc.. This has nothing to do with the anti-boycott law, but I just wanted it mentioned. It may not be getting much coverage, but like Noam I wonder what the fuck is happening in my own country as well as in others).

  9. Paul M Says:

    So the Knesset has passed a bill Noam really doesn’t like, that gives Israel’s enemies another stick to beat it with, and that might actually be a bad law? That’s not “the end of democracy” and the dawn of a fascist state. It’s not even the first time in the history of democracy, or Israel, that such a thing has happened. If only.

    Democracy is not so fragile; that’s why we like it. Has the Supreme Court had it’s say yet? Does she think it won’t? And if the court finds the law constitutional, it’s still not the end of the world. In a while she can vote in a government that will repeal the law, if enough people agree with her.

    In the meantime, there are a myriad ways to protest the settlements other than boycotting them. Short of arson, they’re pretty much all still legal. Even if boycotting is absolutely the only thing that will do for her, she can still refuse to buy settlement products on her own initiative. There’s no law that requires everyone to buy a quota of settlement goods and, despite the hysteria, I don’t think there’s going to be one. Or she can sign up to Peace Now’s boycott call. If enough people do, they will not only blow a hole through the new law, they will tangibly demonstrate the strength of the anti-settlement movement in Israel. (Of course, if the turnout is poor, they may end up proving that the settlements have more support than they think.)

    Noam reminds me of my neighbour who, after George W. was elected, informed me that the we’d never have another honest election in the US and that the Republicans would rig things so that they would have a permanent majority from then on. I haven’t reminded him of that since Obama got in. I should, but it feels a bit cruel.

  10. Absolute Observer Says:

    Well, that didn’t take long…………………

    “Gush Shalom petitions the Supreme Court:
    Boycott Law is unconstitutional and anti-democratic,”

    • Mira Vogel Says:

      Washington Post piece:
      “Some foreign backers of Israel were clearly uncomfortable.

      The New York-based Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish group that fights anti-Semitism, expressed rare criticism of Israel.

      “To legally stifle calls to action — however abhorrent and detrimental they might be — is a disservice to Israeli society,” wrote ADL director Abraham Foxman in a statement.

      He later told The Associated Press that the Israeli Supreme Court should strike down the law. “I hope they do it sooner rather than later,” he said.”

  11. vildechaye Says:

    RE: [But] they get angry about anything that begins with the letter “I”.

    Except Iran, of course. As for the law, I think it’s stupid and counterproductive, but not entirely unreasonable, if it advocates ORGANIZING a boycott, as opposed to simply CALLING for one. One is free speech, the other could be construed as damaging economic activity. So I see a sliver of reason behind it, though I think it’s silly. I do think foes of this law are overreacting, though, since there is absolutely NOTHING stopping them from not purchasing settlement products. To tell the truth, I don’t think I would purchase any either.


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